- The food
- The excursions
- Meeting the Sandals/ Beaches team and networking with them
- Meeting people from different backgrounds, especially the other students in this study abroad.
- The discounts we got
- Just being in Jamaica!
For weeks leading up to study abroad, students were sent links that we were encouraged to send around so that persons could donate things to the Sandals Foundation. These things were necessities that students in Jamaica needed. In the picture, some of the items were there, and the other items were sent to Jamaica.
At the handing-over ceremony, General Manager gave such a touching story. We take certain things for granted; sometimes, we must sit back and be grateful for everything we have. Remember that giving back goes a long way!
On the third day, we got to go into the various departments we were interested in and shadow the Managers. I chose Weddings; while at this department, I was able to meet with all the staff and learn what their roles were.
The manager went over what her day-to-day activities were and showed us examples of documents used. She also told us fun stories about working weddings. The best part about this department was that we got to see a couple do a retie the knot ceremony on the beach!
We all got up to have a group breakfast and started our day! On the second day, we had a little orientation where we met the managers we would shadow and were told what was expected of us during our stay.
After the orientation, we got a tour of the Beaches resort where we were staying. We saw the different room types, event areas, and all the different restaurants that we could enjoy during our stay.
After touring the Beaches Resort, we got onto the shuttle and were transferred to the sandals resort. This resort was great and beautiful. At this resort, we saw ‘The Rabbit Hole,’ a British term for a bar when bars were illegal. This bar was said to be the only one in the Caribbean. At this stop, we also got to experience Jamaican food again!
This resort was broken up into two, so after the Jamaican food break, we got into the suttle and were brought to the second part of this resort. We toured the resort and then had our lunch break. This resort was even more beautiful.
Reaching the airport early gave us enough time to meet everyone else on the trip. This trip had 20 people, two lecturers, and eighteen students, making it easy to meet everyone and speak to the people we were rooming with.
The flight was extremely short, and when we landed, we got to stay at the Sandals lounge at the airport until our transportation arrived. The drive from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios also went by very quickly.
When we got to Beaches Ocho Rios, we were greeted by most staff and Managers at the property. This was amazing! It allowed us to feel extremely comfortable with everyone.
We had just enough time to change rooms and then headed to a wonderful group dinner at the beach with managers. The layout was beautiful, and the fact that it was by the beach was even better. The theme for that night was Jamaican food, so we got to experience cultural food on the first day. We were also introduced to Jamaican artistic music.